Disqui­si­tion: Si­lay food on pa­rade

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

AS we come to close our 5th In­ter­na­tional Ron­dalla Fes­ti­val tonight, 7 p.m. at Natalio G Velez Sports and Cul­tural Cen­ter… an­other fes­ti­val opens in Si­lay, “Adobo Fes­ti­val.”

My “hi­jada” and su­per­vis­ing of­fi­cer of Balay Ne­grense Mu­seum, Ed­sie Val­ladares, re­quested me to give a disqui­si­tion on Si­lay co­mestibles at Don Aguinaldo S. Gam­boa her­itage gar­den at 2 p.m. We all know that Doreen Gam­boa Fer­nan­dez, a food guru from Si­lay, has called her town

“Banwa sang Dulce.” Tourists com­ing to Si­lay have con­sid­ered the city as the “home­town of gus­ta­tory de­lights.”

The plan for the El Cinco de Noviem­bre 1898 Rev­o­lu­tion was hatched in the mid­dle of a “sa­los­alo” flooded with good food and wine. The

“buen fa­milia hi­jos” of Si­lay who were mem­bers of “Club de Buen Comer” en­joyed soiree while dis­cussing in whis­per the brew­ing rev­o­lu­tion.

Food played an im­por­tant role in win­ning the rev­o­lu­tion.

At the turn of the cen­tury (1900), Si­lay was the “Paris of Ne­gros.” While other pueb­los were still de­vel­op­ing, Si­lay was al­ready en­joy­ing Euro­pean goods pass­ing Si­lay sea­port, the long­est in Asia. Some goods were olive oil, noo­dles from Spain, ja­mon Ser­rano, tea from China, chick­peas, canned goods, and wine from dif­fer­ent coun­tries. The “ilustra­dos” and the “buena fa­mil­ias” of

Iloilo brought their fam­ily recipes in Si­lay. I will dis­cuss those in my shar­ing.

Si­lay is noted for its “manugli­bod” (snacks sellers) who would be Tia Azon or Tia Juanita. As­sorted del­i­ca­cies in­clude lumpia ubod, pi­aya, in­day-in­day, em­panada, pa­nara, salab, dulce gatas, pa­nyo-pa­nyo, tor­ti­tas and more. As­sorted cook­ies and bis­cuits are known as “sopas.” They could be bought at El Ideal bak­ery.

Let a Si­laynon in­vite you in his house and eat his food: gin­isang gi­namos with pork and shrimp; col­i­tis (ama­ranth) with langka, mongo and dried gu­maa with gata. The fa­vorite sim­ple food are bagongon with gabi leaves and gata, tak­way with gi­namos, apan-apan; adobong langka or bal­a­tong, hot laswa, ban­gus with law­iswis or balung­gay.

Ha­cienda “panghi­nam-is” takes cen­ter stage: sag­ing lin­u­pak, bukayo, alupi, sun­dol, kala­may­hati, tinanok say­lan, dulce mongo, puto lan­son, butsi and sev­eral oth­ers.

Si­lay food evolved as part of our cul­ture of ex­cel­lence and dig­nity. It has been trans­mit­ted through en­cul­tur­a­tion, ac­cul­tur­a­tion, and as­sim­i­la­tion. It is the “am­bas­sador” of Si­lay tourism. In my shar­ing, I will fea­ture ta­ble foods… the fa­vorites, pork-beef with sabaw, seafood de­light, isda sin­abawan, break­fast ec­stasy, other amaz­ing recipes, and as­tound­ing saw­sawan.

Happy Adobo Fes­ti­val!*

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